Don't Miss the Message in Rome's Beautiful Christmas Lights

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com December 08 2013 1:47 AM ET

In a beautiful demonstration of LGBT acceptance, Christmas shoppers in one of Rome's best-known shopping districts are being greeted with rainbow hued lights.

Strands of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light up the night sky for nearly a mile in the Via del Corso, spanning from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo. Agence France-Presse reports that Mayor Ignazio Marino and Assemblywoman Imma Battaglia, who also leads an LGBT rights group, intended to send a message about acceptance in response to public outcry over the suicides of at least three gay Italian teenagers earlier this year.

LGBT advocates held a public, candlelight vigil for the youth in Rome in October when they first came up with the idea for the lights.

As you might expect, though, not everyone in the largely Roman-Catholic nation is a fan. The AFP reports that the far-right Fratelli d'Italia (Italian Brothers) party objects, arguing the lights should match Italy's flag instead. The basic tricolor was used in 2011, and in 2012 the lights were a simple white monochrome.

See more of this year's lights below.